Ukraine war latest: Russian forces take control of village in Kharkiv region - defence ministry (2024)

Key points
  • Russia takes control of village in Kharkiv - defence ministry
  • Ukraine's divisive draft law comes into force | At least 30 Ukrainians have died crossing river to avoid
  • Putin concludes trip to China with veiled reference to West
  • Two civilians killed while evacuating city
  • Analysis: Great power politics on display in China visit
  • Live reporting by Josephine Franks


Two civilians killed while evacuating Vovchansk

Two people were killed when their car was hit by Russian forces as they evacuated Vovchansk, according to Ukrainian officials.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said an investigation has been launched into what it called the "war crime".

It said the car carrying civilians came under enemy fire while driving through the border town on Thursday.

The 70-year-old driver and an 83-year-old female passenger died at the scene, while two other passengers were injured, officials said.

Ukrainian authorities have evacuated around 8,000 civilians from Vovchansk, three miles from the Russian border.


Russian forces 'capture 40 civilians' from Ukrainian town

Russian forces have captured 40 civilians from a town in Kharkiv, a Ukrainian official has said.

Speaking to Ukrainian news outlet Suspilne, the head of the investigative department of the Kharkiv regional police Serhii Bolvinov said they were taken while trying to escape a Russian shelling attack.

"People are kept in basem*nts, interrogated, and those conducting the interrogations call themselves FSB employees," he said.

It comes after Ukraine's interior minister Ihor Klymenko said Russian forces were taking civilians captive on Thursday.

He also claimed the Russian military had carried out executions.

"In the northern part of Vovchansk, where active hostilities are taking place, the Russian military is taking civilians captive," he said on Telegram.

"It is known about the first executions of civilians by the Russian military. In particular, one of the inhabitants of Vovchansk tried to escape on foot, refused to obey the commands of the invaders - the Russians killed him."

Vovchansk, in the northern Kharkiv region, has come under several attacks in recent weeks, with Russian forces claiming to control surrounding villages and forcing civilians to evacuate.


'Time is not on our side': Ukrainian commanders speak from the frontline

Ukrainian forces on the frontline say the war is entering a critical phase - and they are desperate for more ammunition as they struggle to hold off relentless Russian attacks.

Colonel Pavlo Palisa, whose 93rd Mechanised Brigade is fighting near the key strategic city of Chasiv Yar, said he believed Russia was preparing a major push to break Ukrainian lines in the east.

"Without a doubt, this will be a difficult period for the armed forces," he said.

"I would say that it is unlikely that time is on our side, since a long war requires more resources," he said, adding that it would be critical to impose as heavy a cost on Russia as quickly as possible.

"The enemy's resources, whether in terms of manpower or the material, cannot be compared with ours. It's extraordinarily large."

Ukrainian gun commander Oleksandr Kozachenko said his unit's US-supplied M777 howitzer, which once hurled 100 shells a day at the enemy, is now often reduced to fewer than 10.

"It's a luxury if we can fire 30 shells."

Gunners with his brigade in the Donetsk region said they were desperate for more 155mm rounds for their Western cannons, which had given them an edge over Russia earlier in the war.

The United States says it's rushing ammunition and weapons to Ukraine following the delayed approval of a $61bn aid package by Congress last month.

For the soldiers facing down an encroaching enemy, the deliveries can't come soon enough.


Poland to spend £2bn on making border 'impossible' for potential enemies to pass

Poland is aiming to bolsterits defences against what it says is a rising threat from Russiaand Belarus with a £2bn security programme.

Poland will invest 10 billionzlotys - around £2bn - in making the eastern border "impossible to pass for a potential enemy",PrimeMinister Donald Tusk told a news conference.

"We are starting a major project to build a secure border,including a system of fortifications as well as landscaping andenvironmental decisions," he said.

Poland's border with Belarus has been a flashpoint sincemigrants started flocking there in 2021, after Minsk, a closeRussian ally, opened travel agencies in the Middle East offeringa new unofficial route into Europe - a move the European Unionsaid was designed to create a crisis.

The previous Polish government built a fence on thePolish-Belarusian border that was over 180km long and 5.5m high, to protect against illegal migration. It iscomplemented by a system of cameras and sensors monitoring thefrontier.


Two children among five injured in strike on Kharkiv - reports

A 13-year-old and 16-year-old were among five people injured when Russian forces struck a residential area in Kharkiv, according to Ukrainian officials.

Kharkiv mayor Ihor Tereknov said on Telegram that several residential houses were destroyed, and at least five people were injured.

The regions's governor Oleh Syniehubov said they were injured by shrapnel, and the injuries suffered by the children were minor.


Who's to blame for battlefield setbacks? Ukrainian minister says 'everyone who is not doing enough'

Asked whether the US aid delays were to blame for Ukraine's setbacks on the battlefield, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said the fault lies with "everyone who is not doing enough".

He described the situation on the frontline as "tough", saying "Russia is strong, we are suffering from... insufficient supplies of military assistance," CNN reported.

"We are forced to compensate with heroism and sacrifice of our soldiers," he added.

He was speaking via video conference at the Lennart Meri Conference in Estonia and praised the country for allocating 1% of GDP to military aid for Ukraine.

If every country followed suit, Ukraine would be able to perform better, he said.

"Estonia is a country that proves to the whole world that a small country with a big heart can make a big difference and it's a paradigm for everyone to follow," he said.


Zelenskyy rejects idea of Olympics truce: 'It plays into the hands of the enemy'

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has snubbed the French president's call for a truce between Russia and Ukraine during the Paris Olympics, saying it could give Russia the upper hand.

President Emmanuel Macron had suggested a temporary ceasefire, in line with the ancient Greece tradition that saw warring city-states lay down arms for the length of the Games.

But Mr Zelenskyy said Russia could use the period to move its forces.

"Let's be honest… Emmanuel, I don't believe it," Mr Zelenskyy told news agency AFP.

"Who can guarantee that Russia will not use this time to bring its forces to our territory?" he asked.

"We are against any truce that plays into the hands of the enemy."

Vladimir Putin also dismissed the idea when asked about it on his visit to China, saying the Olympics were violating the principles of the Games by requiring Russian athletes to compete as neutrals.

"If you demand something from someone, you have to follow the rules yourselves first," he said.


Thousands evacuated as Russia pushes on with offensive

Thousands of people in towns in the Kharkiv region have been evacuated since Russia's major ground offensive began just over a week ago.

Ukrainian authorities have evacuated around 8,000 civilians from the recent flashpoint town of Vovchansk, three miles from the Russian border.

On Telegram, Kharkiv's governor Oleh Syniehubov said 9,907 people had been evacuated fromChuguyiv district, Kharkiv district andBogoduhiv district.

The Russian army's usual tactic is to reduce towns and villages to ruins with aerial strikes before troops move in.


UK Ministry of Defence assesses impact of Ukrainian strikes on Crimea

Four Ukrainian strikes on Russian military targets in Crimea have degraded Russia's ability to defend the airspace around the illegally annexed peninsula, theMinistry of Defence says.

In its defence intelligence update on X, the ministry said the strikes had also demonstrated Ukraine's capability to impact Russian Air Defence operations.

Ukraine attacked Belbek airfield on 14 May, destroying elements of an air defence missile battery, including a radar system and launchers.

It carried out three other successful attacks between 16 April and 12 May.

The ministry said it was highly likely Russia would have to disperse and relocate air assets, ultimately increasing flight hours and maintenance requirements.


At least 30 people have died crossing river to avoid conscription

At least 30 people have died trying to escape conscription by crossing a river separating Ukraine from neighbouring Romania and Hungary.

The near-naked, disfigured body of a man was recovered from the Tisza River this week by Romanian border guards.

It appeared he had been floating there for days. He was the 30th known casualty, Ukraine’s border service said.

Thousands of Ukrainians have fled the country to avoid the draft since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

New laws have lowered the age of conscription from 27 to 25, increased fines for draft dodgers and offered convicts a place in the army (see our 12.12 post for more).

Ukraine war latest: Russian forces take control of village in Kharkiv region - defence ministry (2024)


Who is controlling Kharkiv? ›

Russian occupation of Kharkiv Oblast
Occupied countryUkraine
Occupying powerRussia
Russian-installed occupation regimeKharkov military-civilian administration (21 April–present)
Eastern Ukraine campaign24 February 2022
10 more rows

What did Russia do to Kharkiv? ›

Six people – including a pregnant woman – were killed on the outskirts of Kharkiv city in a missile strike launched from Russia's territory of Belgorod, Ukrainian authorities said. Twenty-seven others were wounded in the strike on a recreation centre, with one employee missing, the Kharkiv prosecutor's office said.

What area did the Russian forces control in Ukraine? ›

Before 2022, Russia occupied 42,000 km2 (16,000 sq mi) of Ukrainian territory (Crimea, and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk), and occupied an additional 119,000 km2 (46,000 sq mi) after its full-scale invasion by March 2022, a total of 161,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi) or almost 27% of Ukraine's territory.

What 4 areas of Ukraine are under Russian control? ›

On 30 September 2022, Russia, amid an ongoing invasion of Ukraine, unilaterally declared its annexation of areas in and around four Ukrainian oblasts—Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia.

What has happened to Kharkiv? ›

In Kharkiv, Russia is using all too familiar tactics to advance – reducing Ukrainian villages and towns to rubble. Oleksii estimates that Russia's been firing around 50 to 60 shells every hour into the town.

Why is Kharkiv important? ›

Kharkiv is a major cultural, scientific, educational, transport, and industrial centre of Ukraine, with numerous museums, theatres, and libraries, including the Annunciation and Dormition cathedrals, the Derzhprom building in Freedom Square, and the National University of Kharkiv.

What happens if Kharkiv falls? ›

At stake is not just control of one of Ukraine's major population centers but potentially the country's capacity to keep fighting: If Kharkiv falls, Western resolve may soon follow. Russian forces have long been expected to make a major attempt to break through Ukrainian lines in May or June.

How far is Kharkiv from the Russian border? ›

Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, is 30 km (18 miles) from the Russian border.

Why is Ukraine fighting Russia? ›

The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February 2014. Following Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity, Russia occupied and annexed Crimea from Ukraine and supported pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian military in the Donbas war.

What countries are under Russian control? ›

The term is applied to Georgia (in Abkhazia and South Ossetia), Moldova (in Transnistria), Ukraine (in Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia) and sometimes Chechnya (completely occupied).

What percent of Ukraine does Russia control? ›

Two years since Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine has recaptured 54 percent of occupied territory, while Russia still occupies 18 percent of the country.

How much of Ukraine does Russia control in 2024? ›

Russian forces currently occupy 75 percent of the total area of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson oblasts, and Putin is effectively demanding that Ukraine cede 40 percent of Donetsk Oblast, 25 percent of Kherson Oblast, 25 percent of Zaporizhia oblasts, and one percent of Luhansk Oblast that Russian forces do ...

Why did Russia invade Ukraine? ›

Putin espoused irredentist views challenging Ukraine's right to exist, and falsely claimed that Ukraine was governed by neo-Nazis persecuting the Russian minority. He said his goal was to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine.

Who owns Crimea? ›

The region has been under Russian occupation since 2014. Called the Tauric Peninsula until the early modern period, Crimea has historically been at the boundary between the classical world and the steppe.

What part of Ukraine is Russia trying to invade? ›

Russia advancing north of Kharkiv

Russia has intensified its attacks on the region following Friday's surprise incursions across the border, seizing several villages and settlements in one of the most significant ground attacks since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

Has Ukraine won Kharkiv? ›

By 13 May, Ukrainian forces pushed Russian units attempting to encircle the city back towards the Russian border. Additionally, it was reported that Russia had withdrawn units from the area. The Institute for the Study of War opined that Ukraine had "likely won the battle of Kharkiv".

How much of Ukraine is under Russian control? ›

By June 2022, Russian troops occupied about 20% of Ukraine. From a population of 41 million, about 8 million Ukrainians had been internally displaced and more than 8.2 million had fled the country by April 2023, creating Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aracelis Kilback

Last Updated:

Views: 6347

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aracelis Kilback

Birthday: 1994-11-22

Address: Apt. 895 30151 Green Plain, Lake Mariela, RI 98141

Phone: +5992291857476

Job: Legal Officer

Hobby: LARPing, role-playing games, Slacklining, Reading, Inline skating, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Dance

Introduction: My name is Aracelis Kilback, I am a nice, gentle, agreeable, joyous, attractive, combative, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.